A giddy Chris Matthews on Wednesday night could barely contain himself. One day away from an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, Matthews opened the show by cheering, "I got the Christmas eve excitement brewing right here at Hardball. Because tomorrow night at precisely this time, seven o'clock eastern, the President of the United States is going to join us." [MP3 audio here.]
Later in the show, the MSNBC anchor lobbied the President to be successful on his program: "Big night, big questions, big opportunity. I hope the President...makes the best of tomorrow night." Matthews described the Thursday night interview with the man he has repeatedly fawned over as "a powerful night of serious questions." The topics will apparently include "dysfunction at the top of government," the handling of the health care rollout and "voter suppression" by Republicans.
Clearly, Matthews is still in Obama's corner. On Wednesday, he lamented that "America's still being assaulted by the bizarre politics of Benghazi, birtherism and, bingo, crazed notions that this president should be removed from office, either because he's committed unclear crimes or because he is somehow an illegal alien."
The Hardball website featured some questions that MSNBC viewers want answered. Typically, they were of a left-wing bent:
Autumn Rose wrote:
Mr. President. The GOP is making it harder to vote by creating new voter ID laws in the hope of preventing minorities or as the GOP proudly stated in Texas harder for democrats to vote, what would it take to create a national holiday that allows We The People of the United States to have a day off to go and vote?
Lauren Babb wrote:
With respect to the recent Supreme Court Ruling ruling on The Voting Rights Act of 1965, what opportunities do you see as President that will ensure average American citizens are not excluded from the legislative process?
On gun control:
Lea Goldman wrote:
We are just days away from the year anniversary of Newtown. If, on the heels of that tragedy, Congress could not pass any meaningful gun control laws, do you think that it’s even possible to do so?
Hiram LaGree wrote:
Mr. President, we all know that Republicans in Congress are doing their level best to obstruct your every effort to move the country forward. We also know that our infrastructure is crumbling all around us due to lack of investment. Are there any executive actions you can take to begin the things Chris Matthews has mentioned many times, like fixing roads and bridges, reinvesting in and rebuilding a new national rail system, etc. things that help people get back to work?
To see the top ten most obsequious Matthews quotes about Obama, go here.
A partial transcript of the December 4 segments are below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me start tonight with this: I got the Christmas eve excitement brewing right here at Hardball. Because tomorrow night at precisely this time, seven o'clock eastern, the President of the United States is going to join us right here on Hardball. It's going to be a powerful night of serious questions, certainly from me, about the political dysfunction at the top of our government these days, questions about executive management methods in light of the health care rollout, questions about voter suppression efforts across the country. I'm also going to ask the president about war and peace questions, the moral issues involved with the use of drone strikes, how we can avert war with Iran.
MATTHEWS: Unfortunately, America's still being assaulted by the bizarre politics of Benghazi, birtherism and, bingo, crazed notions that this president should be removed from office, either because he's committed unclear crimes or because he is somehow an illegal alien who should never have been elected in the first place, someone who deserves not just to be thrown from office but deported to East Africa or somewhere more distant. Yes, we've got a wild and woolly right wing out there that cares darn thing about facts, only about the need to strike a blow for, as I said, Benghazi, birtherism or, bingo, they're talking impeachment.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this: I'm going to be short in closing tonight except to say I look forward with hope and a little bit of a concern about tomorrow night's visit by the President. I'm hopeful we can discuss the real concerns people have today, not just the specifics but the fundamentals of whether this country can govern itself effectively, with two parties, the Democrats and Republicans, warring with each other, whether we can regain our confidence in the ability of the government, especially here in Washington, to deliver on its promises. And can we, the American people, really do what we set out to do? Big questions. As I said big night, big questions, big opportunity. I hope the President names or actually makes the best of tomorrow night.